Columbia County officials have always been helpful to state agencies with offices here, finding new space for Department of Vehicle Services and building a new State Patrol office.
Though the value of that generosity certainly is open to reasonable debate, there undoubtedly is a benefit to having those agencies located here, both for the state and for local citizens.
But having picked up a substantial tab for state agencies already, Columbia County is finding itself squeezed for even more.
The county recently decided to shut down one of three health department sites because of state budget tightening. And the local Forestry Service office is barely hanging on after another recent cut.
It's understandable in a time of severe belt-tightening that local services would take a hit from state cuts. But if state officials are going to continue cutting agency budgets, as is expected, lawmakers are going to have to insist on a more comprehensive approach than just slashing funding and hoping locals take up the slack.
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